Challenges faced during the initial stage of a startup
I am Sumit Parekar, and I started up a small consultancy cum marketing platform with the base idea of Providing a platform for the Students, flight-clubs, and Investors, which later on we had to change because temporarily to just a platform for students and the flight-clubs.
The major challenges we faced were when trying to get in touch with the flight-club and making them understand the perspective, and If someone understood, they always looked for their benefit which we were giving.
So basically, we charging a mere percentage of the total fees of the particular student that we’ve got for the club apart from what they already had, along with some diverse geographical presence on their club, didn’t appeal to a lot of clubs in the beginning.
Over a period of time, we had to adapt examples and involve mathematics to make them understand their benefit. Like suppose a club used to get about 20 students a year, and now they’re getting say 25 a year, and 5 of them from our references, even after paying roughly 2% of their total revenue.
Most of the clubs saw that as a clear loss, but no one saw the increase in their credibility and their diverse student background would eventually lead to their widening of presence, leading to a number of airlines approaching their club for placing the student pilots, which on a long-run would result in improving the club’s reputation.
This is something that doesn’t really happen in India, but a lot of countries abroad have these ways to get their students placed.
Moving on to the next, one of the major challenges was to find the right set of aspiring students.
Now, I’ve been a top writer in Civil Aviation category for a short while, which is why I was under the impression that we’ve found the leads, but to be honest, finding the right category or the right set of students is very difficult, and requires a lot of filtration, while facing this major complexity was to create a database of students and their desired year of pursuing, which would lead to a lot of shortage in the set of students who are willing to pursue the course in the near future.
Apart from the number of leads being really less, we also had to talk to them and develop trust and prove our authenticity to them, which requires a lot of investment in terms of time.
Once the trust was built, we saw that it took a lot of time and by then, the student probably got into some club or either dropped the plan of being a pilot, because it involves a HUGE amount of cost (In India at least), also one of the major reasons why I couldn’t become one.
Again one of the most stressful thing for me personally was, developing a website, I had no intentions to invest money because I genuinely only wanted to invest the money that I earned myself into this, so I did not take up the idea of outsourcing the web development part, and tried to do it myself and did it.
Although it doesn’t look very creative, I’m sure it’s really informative. Considering that it was built by someone with just the knowledge and no experience in web development, it’s good enough, at least as my first website.
Although there are channels to build a website like Wix but we chose to design it ourselves, and took up development on WordPress, trust me WordPress is no lesser and just mentally troubles you to a whole next level.
To count on we have faced a lot of other challenges as well, but the last one I had to face on a very personal level is the sacrifice. I sacrificed family gatherings, friends’ meets, sacrificed sleep.
Slept for just 4 hours, and now I suffer from chronic sleep deprivation and having other incurred troubles because of that which was one of the worst ideas I could take up, at max the whole thing would have set up a month late, but that was no harm.
Here the major thing that I feel regret, is the loss of health, this would be something I’d have said a month earlier, but now I feel everything happens for a good cause and genuinely I learned a lot from my own younger self for setting up certain Principles for myself, which I never break, no matter what.
I’d conclude by saying that the challenges are always on your way irrespective of what way you choose. Suffering is equally distributed to all of us, it’s just that who’s willing to sacrifice more than required. Also, do not ever think of your decisions to have gone waste.
Always respect your principle, because they’re set by you, for yourself and these thoughts might have come up only when the worst situations had arrived earlier, which is why you should always respect your principles.